Last week I spent two days at Focus on the Family, recording eight radio programs. Six were with Focus president Jim Daly and host John Fuller. I did two interviews each related to my books If God is Good, The Treasure Principle, and Heaven. I loved my time with Jim, John, Royce Bervig and the great folks at Focus on the Family.
I’ve been to Focus in the past but I have never sensed a greater passion for Christ and for serving families than I saw this time. Many people come to Colorado Springs every year to visit Focus on the Family, and I highly recommend doing that. (Check out their Welcome Center.) They have wonderful and fun hands-on facilities for children to play and learn in, as well as one of the finest bookstores I’ve ever seen. I had a blast shopping for my grandsons, stocking up on Adventures in Odyssey (www.whitsend.org) audios, videos and books.
The two interviews we recorded related to If God is Good center on the problem of evil and suffering.
I also did two interviews with Lisa Anderson, program director for young adults at Focus on the Family and host of The Boundless Show podcast. I was looking over their excellent young adult website, www.boundless.org, and read the following article concerning the young men who gave their lives to protect the women they loved. I found it touching, inspiring and insightful:
Real Heroes at 'The Dark Knight' Shootings
by Matt Kaufman
"I pray that in the days to come, we might also catch some small glimmer of God’s redemptive hand at work, as impossible as that may seem in this horrible moment," Adam Holz wrote on this site a few days ago in "Prayer and Mourning After 'The Dark Knight.' "
Well, thankfully, we have now seen just that — and also seen a beautiful illustration of the themes in another recent Boundless post, "Men, Be Protectors."
It comes in the stories of the four young men who gave their lives to protect their girlfriends from alleged shooter James Holmes' murderous rampage. They've given us some of the most powerful examples we'll ever see, both of the broad sacrificial message of Christ and the specific calling of men to be protectors — especially to the women in their lives.
This is Amanda Lindgren remembering Alexander Teves: "I was really, really confused at first about what was going on, so confused. But, it's like Alex didn't even hesitate. Because I sat there for a minute, not knowing what was going on, and he held me down and he covered my head and he said, 'Shh, stay down. It's OK. Shh, just stay down.' So I did."
This is Julia Vojtsek remembering John Larimer: "John immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger," Vojtsek wrote in a statement. "Moments later, John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots. It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me. I feel very strongly that I was saved by John and his ultimate kindness."
Read more of their stories here. Anyone will find them moving, but as a man, these speak to me on a particular, soul-deep level. I hope there isn't a man reading this who can't say the same thing. This, men, is the identity God intends us to have: In a moment of crisis, we protect women at all costs, even our lives. We don't have to think about it. We just do it.
Moments of crisis can also be moments of clarity. Much of our lives are distorted by ideologies like modern feminism, which hold all gender roles to be "sexist" and "oppressive." Men and women alike, even if they don't really believe it, are often intimidated or confused by it. But when the bullets start flying, all that goes out the window. Then all of us know instantly who and what men should be.
Thank you, Alexander Teves, John Larimer, Matthew McQuinn and John Blunk. Your sacrifices have not been in vain. You saved the women in your lives, and you inspired a nation.
From Eternal Perspective Ministries
Explore Randy’s books on the subject of evil and suffering:
Every one of us is experiencing— or will experience—suffering. In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God— Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?
Here are 90 daily reflections dealing with virtually every aspect of the single biggest question that blocks people’s faith in God: If God is good, why is there so much evil and suffering?
In this focused condensation of If God Is Good, we’re continually guided into a deeper glimpse of God’s loving ways and higher purposes—the very things we’re often most blinded to whenever we battle pain and anguish.
This booklet faces our most pressing questions about evil and suffering with sensitivity, skillful insight, and a heart of compassion. Ideal for church giveaways or individual gifting.